The government has announced its intention to set up a new independent nuclear regulator, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR). This new body will bring together the regulation of nuclear safety, security, safeguards and the safe transport of radioactive materials.
The ONR would be a new independent regulator, formally responsible in law for delivering its regulatory functions. The creation of the ONR would consolidate civil nuclear and radioactive transport safety and security regulation in one place.
The proposal will not affect the current regulatory requirements or standards with which industry must comply, and the vast majority of the costs of the regulator would continue to be recovered in charges from operators in the nuclear industry rather than funded by the public purse. Additional organisational costs will be entirely met by the nuclear industry.
Pending the legislation, the Health and Safety Executive is taking steps to establish the ONR as a non-statutory body from 1 April 2011, signalling our commitment to securing an appropriately resourced and responsive regulator for the future challenges of the nuclear sector. The Government will review the functions and processes of the interim body in order to inform its planned legislation.